USAF wants prop planes back, drops the whizzy ones for COIN!

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by WhizzbangDai, Aug 14, 2009.

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    Our American friends have decided on buying a new 'light fighter' and by the looks of it, it'll be a little lightweight turbo-propped thing. Much like our Tucanos, only the Super version (ie good with a weapons capability)

    much like the Iraqi airforce has bought

    and the US Navy SEALS has got those

    Seeing as how the US usually leads the world in these matters, you think at some point we'll see a return of the propellor fighter?

    Biggles is back!
  2. Re: USAF takes a step back to the 1940's

    Almost at "Scum" standards; the title of the article is wrong though, as it says the aircraft will be for "strike, armed reconnaissance and advanced aircraft training in support of irregular warfare". In answer to the question no, never but yes as a COIN a/c as seen in your second link. As we already have the Tucano (and of course every RAF pilot is trained on it during basic flying trg) it would make a good starting point. The US made good use of prop a/c such as the Bronco in Vietnam. Could we do the same in Afghanistan, I believe we could with some investment and trg.

  3. Re: USAF takes a step back to the 1940's

    Easy target for any SAM system irrespective of what age that SAM system is.
  4. Re: USAF takes a step back to the 1940's

    The advantage of the Bronco over a Tucano or AT6 development is that it has 2 donks. I hate to say it but there was a lot of potential in;


    No more susceptible to IR SAMs than a Harrier.
  5. IMD - I mentioned that about Tucanos, but our resident crustacean expert magic mushroom put me right in that our Tucanos are apparently nothing like the COIN full fat Super Tucano's being peddled for this, being altogether more powerful and better equipped.

    I'm sure he'll slide in sideways soone enough to tell us all about it :D
  6. True enough but it is an airframe that they; pilots and spanner monkeys, are familiar with. A CAS a/c would of course have the requisite avionics and wpn fit but as I said it would require trg and investment. Surely it would be cheaper and easier than a completely new airframe with the associated baggage?
    a_m agreed but there has been very little SAM/MANPADS activity during Herrick. Earlier this year it was widely reported that Iran had supplied (was supplying) SA14 Gremlin, this was denied (!) by the MoD. As this is IR seeking , perhaps some techno-geek can expand on their capabilities against a turbo-prop configured for CAS rather than jet efflux or paraffin budgies? There an established need for RIC type flights, could they fulfilled by a robust prop plane with a secondary CAS capability?

  7. Re: USAF takes a step back to the 1940's

    LOL they are not replacing their air arm with Harriers, missed the point there fella.
  8. Re: USAF takes a step back to the 1940's

    I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong but I think the point he was making was that we currently use Harriers (of various types) in the CAS role. Any turbo prop introduced to take on this role would be no more susceptible to SAM than the Harriers, effectively negating the threat you raised.

    As an aside, a Super Tucano costs around 25 - 30% of a Harrier AV8B!

    P-o_L does make a good point about the twin engines.

  9. firepower in a Pucara is pretty good too, especially gun wise - 4x .50's and 2x20's - a really interesting discussion on Pprune about the advantages of cannon shells vs rockets and how in some instances they are more effective - especially with regards to penetration of cover. Plus, all weapons are single barrel, giving greater accuracy than equivalent gatling weapons.

    add to the second pilot, extra eyes, twice as much thinking power, seperation of duties... well it IS a good idea

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